Girl Scouts sell handmade soap, other crafts
When they aren’t selling cookies, one Mukilteo Girl Scout troop sells handmade soap.
Girl Scout Troop 40996 is hosting a craft fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Mukilteo Presbyterian Church, at 4514 84th St. S.W. in Mukilteo. All of the crafts are made by local Girl Scouts. There will also be food available at the fair.
Each troop there will be raising money for travel, community service or to reach their goals of Silver or Gold awards. These awards are the highest awards a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.
Troop 40996 has been fundraising for a year and a half for a trip to Europe in the summer of 2013. They have always wanted to go to London and Paris. They have sold soap and cookies.
Many other Girl Scout troops will be joining Troop 40996 to sell the goods that they have made. They will also be serving pizza, pop, water, chips, cocoa and a seasonal soup for lunch.
The girls in Troop 40996 learned how to make soap last year, and had a lot of fun making it. They have sold it in the community at craft fairs and farmer's markets.
“They have made quite a little profitable soap making business,” said Troop Leader Michale Schneider. “They even have return customers.”
Soap making was the idea of Assistant Leader Donna Rogers’. She brought Schneider a book on the process. At first, Schneider didn’t want the girls to do it. It seemed too difficult to work with lye.
Then Schneider found out that her nephew makes soap. He supplied all of the equipment: a crock pot, electric hand mixer, wooden spoon, measuring cup and some rain cutter down spouts to use for molds. He then showed the girls how to make it.
The troop now uses quart sized milk cartons for their soap molds because it’s easier. They use a miter box to cut the soap. They’re learning and getting better at the process.
It takes about two and a half to three hours to make one batch of soap. They have 16 different fragrances available, plus some that are fragrance free. Prices for each bar range from $2.50-$5.
They use three different kinds of oils for each bar of soap. Each oil has different qualities: some are good cleansers, or very bubbly, or conditioning, and so on. Based on the combination, each bar has its own intended uses.
For example, their gardener’s soap is made with coffee grounds in it, so that it is slightly abrasive.
“It’s great for cleaning hands after working in the garden or on a car,” Schneider said. “But you wouldn't want to use that soap on your face.”
Soap making is a difficult process, and sometimes the girls make mistakes. Once, when they were making gardener’s soap, the water was too warm for the lye (they had added coffee that was still hot) and it exploded.
“We got a big boom and it spilled all over my counter top,” Schneider said. “It is now a different color. Of course we always wear goggles, gloves and aprons when working with the lye.”
-Edited by Beacon staff